Comparison of Hyperkalemic Risk in Hospitalized Patients Treated with Different Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
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Background and Aim
Clinical use of angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists (angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) is associated with hyperkalemia as an adverse drug reaction. Although it has significant clinical implications, the incidence and relative risks of hyperkalemia with various ARBs have not yet been fully evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk of hyperkalemic events in hospitalized patients treated with different ARBs and to compare the risk among them.
We constructed a retrospective cohort composed of hospitalized adult patients who took ARBs in a single tertiary teaching hospital between April 2004 and March 2010. We estimated the incidence of hyperkalemia (serum potassium level >5.5 mEq/L) with various ARBs, and then compared the risk between them using a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model based on age, sex, Charlson co-morbidity score, baseline serum potassium, underlying diseases, and concomitant drugs.
We identified 6992 evaluable intervals from 5449 patients treated with one of the seven ARBs during hospitalization over the 71-month study period with 2521.6 patient-months. We found 381 hyperkalemic events (5.4%) during the study period and an overall event rate of 15.1/100 patient-months. Moderate to fatal hyperkalemia was relatively rare (>6.0 mEq/L, 2.1% [moderate]; >6.5 mEq/L, 0.9% [severe]; >7.0 mEq/L, 0.3% [fatal]). After adjustment for covariates, telmisartan showed a lower risk of hyperkalemia (hazard ratio 0.67; 95% confidence interval 0.51, 0.89) compared with all other ARBs.
The risk of hyperkalemic events in hospitalized patients treated with different ARBs was defined. Telmisartan showed a relatively lower hyperkalemic risk profile in hospitalized patients compared with other ARBs.
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